Chronic Pain and Float Tanks


what is a float tank!

It is typically a soundproof and lightproof tank. No sound. No music. No interruptions. No talking. No phones. No technology. You are alone in silence.

You step into water that is heated to skin temperature (94-95 degrees F) with about 850 pounds of Epsom salts. You cannot sink no matter how heavy, injured or disabled.

Open tanks are now offered should you feel too claustrophobic to use the closed tanks and still have the benefit of isolation.


why do i float!

After many floats, I find that they help dissipate my fears of the future. My questions of will I work again? Will these explosions in my head continue? Is this really my life? Will there be a cure before I die? I am more able to stay present and move these questions to the background during a session.


Before I finish each float, there is a magic moment where these questions release and I move into a place of gratitude. I learn how to be thankful for the times I am able to leave the house, see friends, trail walks, garden, write, and thrive even as I am being jolted with Taser like pains.

I trust the float process especially with what I call “The Mattress Moment.” Suddenly I completely relax and feel as if I am on the most comfortable mattress formed to the needs of my body. I am warm and completely supported. I cannot sink. This helps me to fall even more in love with my body and my life.

Occasionally I fall asleep. This amuses me as I hear my mother say, “You must always have a buddy in the water. It’s possible to drown in only six inches of water.” And I float alone. Just me. No buddy.  No body. Nobody. And I feel safe.


In my most recent float, I paid attention to what happened to my pain in this space devoid of light and sound. I surrendered. I melted deeper into the water and noticed my pain quieted down. I had no need to give it attention. When I allowed space for utter silence, I heard how to do this thing called chronic pain. To have a full life. To thrive.

My favorite tank is shaped like a clam shell. When I step out of it, I feel like Venus being birthed on her giant scallop shell. Naked. Empty of pain for this moment in time. And that is enough.

If you would like more details on floating, contact me at

I float at Float On in Portland, Oregon. Here is their website.


Gail Sinclair, MHt, CNC is a hypnotherapist who helps those living with chronic pain go from discomfort to thriving by using hypnosis, pain management tools and resources.

She is a Master Hypnotherapist, Nutritional Consultant, and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has over 20 years in healing work and is an international award-winning speaker.

Gail lives in Portland, OR with her delightful husband, son, and cat. She can be found cooking, knitting, writing, and figuring out new ways to thrive with Trigeminal, and Occipital Neuralgia.

You can reach her

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